McCready called to the Hall
Being nominated for the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame was more than enough for Pat McCready.
The 46-year-old St. Catharines native was one among 20 nominees — including four others from St. Catharines — for the first inductions into the hall since 2016.
“I wasn’t thinking about it too much; I was just happy to be nominated,” McCready said.
McCready began to think about it much more when he was informed recently he was one of eight players inducted for 2021.
“It was a great surprise to get in,” he said. “There are a lot of great people nominated —20 guys — and they all deserved it for sure as well.”
McCready found out the good news on a phone call from Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Mike French, a long time NLL executive.
“It was nice to get a call from a guy with roots in the area as well,” McCready said.
Among the others inducted was Steve Toll, McCready’s former teammate and current head coach of the St. Catharines Athletics. Two referees were also inducted in the builder’s category. The league plans a fall induction.
“After a long and careful process of re-engineering the NLL Hall of Fame it’s exciting to relaunch with an incredible list of nominees. Thank you to the Hall of Fame committee for an incredible process and selecting 10 outstanding individuals. We are very proud of all those nominated and welcome those chosen to be inducted as the newest members of the NLL Hall of Fame Class of 2021,” NLL commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “These are the greatest of the great, and we look forward to the induction ceremony and further connecting the amazing history of the league with its exciting present and future.”
McCready, who won a Minto Cup with the A’s in 1991, played 17 seasons in the NLL with Charlotte, Rochester, Buffalo and Toronto. He is a three-time champion: twice with Rochester (1997, 2012) and once with Buffalo (2008). He was named the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year. At the time of his retirement, he was third all-time in loose ball recoveries (1,593), second in penalty minutes (470) and seventh in games played (219). He led Buffalo three times in loose ball recoveries (2002, 2004, 2006). He also ranks in the top 10 all-time in playoff games played (31), loose ball recoveries (198) and penalty minutes (51).
“To be honest, a big part of it was I always played on really good teams,” McCready said. “We always had a lot of great players and we were always competing so it allowed me to go about and do my job and not have to do too much.”
McCready’s job wasn’t easy or the least bit glamorous, but he was willing to do what it took to be part of a winning team.
“We talk about it with the kids I coach now,” he said. “A bike can’t be peddled without the pedals and can’t be steered without the handle bars so whatever your job is, you have to try and go out and do the best you can.”
McCready balanced playing in the NLL with his job with the Niagara Regional Police.
“It sure was (difficult),” he said. “It’s being a professional and still having to go to work Monday to Friday. I remember coming into work more than a few times pretty beat up. I was lucky I was able to do it. They were pretty understanding.”
McCready, who was inducted into the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, comes from a lacrosse family. He is the son of the late Bob (Buff) McCready and uncle of former Athletic Joey McCready.
With his playing career is over, McCready is now coaching his two daughters, Maddie and Mia, at the field lacrosse level in a program run by the St. Catharines Athletics.
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